This haunting song (see the video and English translation below), with music by Khayyam and lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, is considered to be one of Mohammed Rafi's best. To recover from the melancholy of it takes longer than one usually expects. Rafi's selection of a high octave from the start, as opposed to starting at a lower pitch and gradually reaching a climax of hopelessness, was a novel experiment. It was close to Kaifi Azmi and Rafi's hearts.
jaane kyaa dhoondhti rahti hain ye aankhen mujhmein
raakh ke dher mein sholaa hai na chingaari hai jaane kyaa dhoondhti rahti hain ye aankhen mujhmein raakh ke dher mein sholaa hai na chingaari hai
ab na wo pyaar na us pyaar ki yaadein baaki aag yoon dil mein lagi kuchh na rahaa kuchh na bachaa jiski tasveer nigaahon mein liye baithi ho main wo dildaar nahin uski hoon khaamosh chitaa jaane kyaa dhoondhti rahti hain ye aankhen mujhmein raakh ke dher mein sholaa hai na chingaari hai
zindagi hans ke guzarti to bahut achchhaa thaa khair hans ke na sahi ro ke guzar jaayegi raakh barbaad muhabbat ki bachaa rakhi hain raakh barbaad muhabbat ki bachaa rakhi hain baar-baar isko jo chhedaa to bikhar jaayegi jaane kyaa dhoondhti rahti hain ye aankhen mujhmein raakh ke dher mein sholaa hai na chingaari hai
aarzoo jurm wafaa jurm tamannaa hai gunaah ye wo duniyaa hai jahaan pyaar nahin ho saktaa kaise baazaar kaa dastoor tumhen samjhaaun bik gayaa jo wo khareedaar nahin ho saktaa bik gayaa jo wo khareedaar nahin ho saktaa jaane kyaa dhoondhti rahti hain ye aankhen mujhmein raakh ke dher mein sholaa hai na chingaari hai jaane kyaa dhoondhti rahti hain ye aankhen mujhmein raakh ke dher mein sholaa hai na chingaari hai
I do not know what your eyes keep seeking in me In this pile of ash There is no spark There is no ember There is no love now Nor memories of it The fire that devastated my heart Nothing of it was left Nothing was saved The image you have in your eyes I am not that lover But his quiet pyre It would be good if this life passed joyfully But that is not to be It will pass in sorrow I have saved the ashes of my devastated love They will scatter away If you nudge them again and again Desire is a crime, Love is a crime Yearning for love is a sin In this world there can be no love How should I explain the rules of the bazaar One who has sold his soul Cannot pretend to be the buyer
The year was 1968, give or take one, and Sholavaram held its first, perhaps India's first, international car-racing event. Madhavi, you were about six-eight years old? Your parents, Mukund and Geeta, and some friends, I don't know how, succeeded in forcing me to go with them to see the races. Having zero if not minus interest in the zoom-zoooom-zzrrrooom proceedings, where I could not even zzzzzzz, I spend my most of my time looking at people. I was timid about taking photographs without permission, so I mostly took pictures within the group where I was a reluctant participant. I think I remember your name, Madhavi? Having already taken some of your wide-eyed pictures, I got this one, and have prized it.
Like passengers in a railway compartment or at a station, where culturally and linguistically different, divergent people meet and part, our lives also peeled away.
I have several pictures of your mother Geeta, and your grandfather, Pratap Rai Mehta, both in my collection and posted on my blog, as well as a couple of yours. I saw your mother, father and your brand-new (to me) brother last in 1995, at my one-man show sponsored by the US Consulate at Bangalore, but learned very little about you. I wanted to know about you, and more, but in the crowded hall, except for pleasantries, nothing much could be exchanged.
By chance, if you recognise this picture, me or my name, contact me: I am very eager to know about what happened, and is happening, to you. You must be in your early 50s by now; a mother perhaps, and why not also, maybe, a grandmother. I hope very much that life has not wearied you, and that you have still not lost your wide-eyed curiosity.
Vanishing appears to me to be ice eggs nestling in a complex hydrological womb.
soothing to the eye but almost ominous to consciousness because all our
pretensions notwithstanding, we are most certainly melting down with
the planet and faster than we would like to acknowledge.
whether or not time withers you before you perish, all animated life, its renewal, rejuvenation, reproduction, which has continued for countless centuries is counting down to the end of survival in any form